Steven Spielberg has cast Bradley Cooper as Frank Bullitt for his upcoming original film Bullitt, Deadline first reported. Cooper has officially closed a deal to play the classic character, who was famously portrayed by Steve McQueen in the original 1968 thriller. Spielberg is developing a new version of the film centered on the famous San Francisco cop, but made it clear that it is not a reboot of the original film, but rather an entirely new story. Cooper is also set to co-produce the film alongside Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Josh Singer is currently working on the script, and Steve McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen, and granddaughter Molly McQueen, will executive produce the movie.
The decision to cast Cooper was not a sudden one. Cooper and Spielberg have been discussing Bullitt since the pandemic began, talking about the character and how to put a fresh spin on the story. Cooper and Spielberg have been trying to collaborate on a project for years, as Spielberg came close to directing American Sniper which starred Cooper, but ultimately moved on and handed the opportunity to Clint Eastwood.
Cooper is currently producing Maestro, which he also co-wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. He plays the lead alongside Carey Mulligan, and that film is set to be released on Netflix in 2023. Cooper is most famous for his roles as Phil in The Hangover, and as Jackson Maine in A Star is Born, where he starred alongside Lady Gaga. Cooper has 9 Oscar nominations for both acting and producing, and is a rare example of an actor who can achieve critical acclaim for both acting performances and cinematography.
The original Bullitt film premiered in 1968, and was produced by Solar Productions and released by Warner Bros, who still hold the rights. The film stars Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, and Jacqueline Bisset, and was directed by Peter Yates. It follows the story of a San Francisco cop assigned as a bodyguard to a syndicate witness. When a pair of mob hit-men enter the scene, Bullitt follows their trail on a treacherous journey filled with complications, action, and double-crosses. The award-winning thriller contains one of the most famous car chases in cinematic history, and is preserved in the Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” film.
Bullitt is currently in production, and a release date has not been set yet. More casting decisions are expected to be announced soon.